The time it was about Carve the Mark

Posted November 4, 2016 by Stacee in Reviews | 16 Comments

When I got the invitation to read and review Carve the Mark, I legit responded and agreed before I even read the entire email.  I was insanely excited to have this opportunity and wanted to say yes before someone realized it was a mistake as soon as possible.

Before we get to my hopefully coherent review, let’s check out the book!

30117284Title: Carve the Mark {Untitled Duology #1}
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 480
Pub Date: January 17th, 2017
Find it: Harper Collins | IndieBound | B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not—their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power—something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive—no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive—or to destroy one another.

Sounds good, right?


**I was sponsored by HarperCollins to share my review. I received compensation and an advanced copy of Carve the Mark; however it did not influence my opinion in any way**


Rating and First Reaction:

5 stars. I absolutely loved this book.  I will admit to being a bit wary of the synopsis, but I enjoyed Divergent and Insurgent {I still haven’t read Allegiant and don’t plan on it}, and was definitely intrigued to see what Veronica created.


Cyra: Cyra is a legit bad ass. She is literally a weapon as her currentgift is all about pain. It makes sense that she’s tough…and maybe a bit bitter.  Cyra has been forced into a situation that would break anyone, but she perseveres without complaint. Since no one wants to touch her, she’s often left alone. She’s extremely well read, cunning, and eventually ruthless.

Akos: In the beginning, Akos couldn’t be more opposite to Cyra. He’s grown up in a loving, less militant environment, but is thrown into an entirely different world and needs to adapt quickly.  He seems like a soft little marshmallow at first, but we quickly see what he’s made of.

I don’t want to say too much about either of them because it was fun for me to constantly second guess loyalties, trust no one, and just go along for the ride.

Secondary Characters: CtM has quite a cast of secondary characters. There are several of them that I loved, several that I’m still undecided on, and several who I hope walk barefoot across a floor full of Legos. And since I couldn’t decide who to highlight here, I’m going to let you find them on your own.

Plot & Pacing:

This has a lot a lot a lot of world building.  Even though I was thrilled to start reading CtM, I was extremely trepidatious about it.  I don’t do well with odd names {regardless of if they belong to people or countries} and I will quickly lose interest if I need to take notes in order to follow what’s going on.  Needless to say, I was pretty much interested right from the beginning.

There are several intricate pieces to the story and even though we get POV from Cyra and Akos, those pieces are revealed so deliciously slow. Rest assured, that the almost 500 page book kept me captivated and angry when RL wouldn’t let me spend time with it.

Teaser Quote: By the end, I had so many quotes I put a sticky next to while I was reading, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to share.  I decided on one that I think really highlights the overall idea of the book.

“You and I, we’ve become what we were made to become.”  —taken from pg. 94 of the arc

Rec It?

Yes, yes, a million times yes.  Between the snark and swoons and fighting and betrayal the entire thing is like one huge roller coaster that I think will satisfy any reader.


veronicarothI’m Veronica. I write books for young adults. Specifically, I wrote the books Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant, and Four: A Divergent Collection.

I like things. Some of those things are (in no particular order): Harry Potter, rain, YA, books, puns, cute animals, tea, sitcoms, grammar, writing, Chicago, Doc Martens, trains, flat stretches of prairie land, cold weather months, and so on. Instagram | Twitter | Facebook


Huge thanks to Harper Collins for the invite.  This was an amazing opportunity that I’m so grateful for.

You can download a “first look” chapter here.  Definitely follow Epic Reads (Instagram Twitter Facebook) and Carve the Mark (Instagram Twitter Facebook) for all sorts of goodies.

And as always, thanks to my pretty prancy PA AKA Christina from The Book Hookup for letting me steal borrow her review format.

Now. Will you be reading Carve the Mark? What are you most excited for?


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16 responses to “The time it was about Carve the Mark

  1. Rachel Patrick

    I didn’t know you wrote book reviews on here now! (I knew you did on Goodreads, obviously.) I wasn’t super impressed by the synopsis for this either, and though I wanted to read it, I didn’t WANT read it, you know? And I love love loved DIVERGENT and INSURGENT, but you know how much The Book That Shall Not Be Named broke me, and even with The Thing that happened set aside, it didn’t stand up to the first two novels at all. All that said, my excitement for this grew when someone on Twitter was raving about it and said the romance was better than Tris and Four and I was like whaaaaaaaaaa. And now there’s another really good review! (I like the format and breakdown, by the way.) I rarely give books five stars anymore, but I’m interested to see what this book is all about and if it’s any good. (Plus, it seems like it may be on a totally different spectrum from Divergent, so something completely new from Veronica could be interesting.) Great review!

    • Stacee

      I review every once in a while, but it’s definitely not a regular thing. It’s hard for me to be wordy about a book I love.

      I found it to be definitely different from her other series and I really hope you enjoy it!!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!!

  2. I was a bit wary of this book just because I really loved Divergent and Insurgent and was afraid that maybe this was all hype. But gah there are things from your review that sound so good and the summary gives off Graceling/Romeo and Juliet vibes which I’m digging. Must try this book for myself. Great review!

    • Stacee

      Well, maybe I’m dating myself as well becaaue I was singing along as I read it.

      I hope you enjoy it!! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. I will openly admit that the synopsis did little to grab me, but the cover sure is pretty. I was also a little wary to read VR again because even though I still haven’t read Allegiant yet, we all know how it ends, and I’m afraid she might would do something similar again. Your review definitely has me leaning more toward the “I need this book in my life” side, though.

    Thanks for your review! My favorite part (and also the part that made me bark out a cackle) was this “…and several who I hope walk barefoot across a floor full of Legos.”


  4. I picked up the preview of Carve the Mark at BEA and wasn’t too stoked about it, but I want to read it now! I’m still a little wary of the premise because I’m not sure if it’ll appeal to me in book form, but great supporting cast and complex characters will almost always drive me to at least try a book out :D I didn’t love the odd names (or all the worldbuilding) in the teaser, but I think the story has a lot of potential, and I’m glad I came across your post. Great review!

    Thanks for stopping by The Silver Words! <3

    • Stacee

      I didn’t care for the names or some of the world building {sometimes it’s dense, but not info dump-y}, but everything else hooked me in that I was able to over look some of those things.

      I hope you enjoy it!!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!!

  5. Ooo… yes! It sounds wonderful. As I said in a previous comment I was kind of blasé about the Goodreads summary, but seeing reviews yours, and others, has piqued my interest again. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    La La recently posted: THE SUNDAY POST #87
  6. EEE :D Lovely review Stacee :) SO glad you loved this book. <3 But also so jealous that you have read it already, haha :) I am dying to read it. I hope I will love it the most too. <3 SO curious about it. You have made me even more excited about it :D

    Carina Olsen recently posted: In My Mailbox #270

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